12 March 2013
As a founding member of the Telecommunications’ Industry Dialogue on Freedom of Expression and Privacy, Vodafone is pleased to announce that it will immediately implement the group’s Guiding Principles, published today. Building on Vodafone’s existing Law Enforcement Assistance Policy, the Principles will be incorporated into all aspects of Vodafone’s business operations worldwide and the Group will report on progress annually.
Our commitment to respecting our customers’ right to privacy and freedom of expression is a priority. Our commitment to this is unambiguous and supported across our businesses worldwide. However, telecoms operators must also comply with legal obligations imposed upon them by governments. These require us to provide assistance to law enforcement agencies in matters deemed by the authorities to relate to public protection. In doing so operators also have a critical duty to ensure the safety of their employees at all times and particularly during periods of civil emergency.
Our commitment to putting the Principles into practice will provide our colleagues around the world with the confidence to make the best judgments locally to ensure respect for our customers' privacy and freedom of expression. We will continue to work closely with the participating companies and the Global Network Initiative (GNI), which announced a collaboration with the Industry Dialogue today, to advance freedom of expression and privacy rights in the telecoms industry. The Principles can be viewed here.
The Industry Dialogue is a group of global telecoms companies working together to address issues of privacy and freedom of expression. It has created a set of Principles to guide the industry and serve as a statement of expectations to governments that may request restrictions on user rights.